Monday, 1 June 2009

Calling for a Cornish Assembly

History of the Cornish self-government movement

The history of modern Cornish nationalism goes back to the end of the 19th century. The failure of Irish home rule caused Gladstone's Liberal party to revise and make more relevant its devolution policy by advocating the idea of 'home rule all round' applying to Scotland and Wales but opening the door for Cornish Liberals to use cultural themes for political purposes.

Henry Jenner was an important figure in early 20th-century Cornish national awareness. He made the case for Cornwall's membership in the Celtic Congress, pioneered the movement to revive the Cornish language, and founded the Cornish Gorseth.

Traditionally, much support to Cornish self-government has come from supporters of Welsh self-government, who have often seen the Cornish as their Brythonic Celtic kindred. For example, Mebyon Kernow has a twinning arrangement with the Blaenau Gwent branch of Plaid Cymru.

Some intellectual support for Cornish self-government has come from the Institute of Cornish Studies, affiliated to the University of Exeter.

In 2000, the Cornish Constitutional Convention launched a campaign for a Cornish Assembly. This was a cross-party movement representing many political voices and positions in Cornwall, from Mebyon Kernow and Cornish Solidarity to the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives. It collected over 50,000 petition signatures.

Cornwall County Council commissioned an opinion poll by MORI on this subject. The poll was conducted in February 2003 and showed 55% of the Cornish public in favour of an assembly.

"If you want elected representatives who live in the Duchy and who will put Cornwall and ALL her residents first then MK are really the only choice. When I write 'ALL' that's exactly what is meant. This video from Plaid -Why do some peddle the myth that being pro-Welsh independence means you're anti-English?- rings 100% true for Mebyon Kernow. MK are the only party who are totally committed to giving more power to all Cornwall's residents whilst equally being 100% against all forms of prejudice."
The Cornish Democrat

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